Search This Blog

Friday, November 26, 2010

Disclosure of payments to pollies- improving, could do even better

Reports on entitlements paid by the Department of Finance and Deregulation during the period January-June 2010 for and of behalf of Federal parliamentarians and former parliamentarians, and overseas travel reports by parliamentarians were tabled yesterday and are available here. In the case of each individual, supporting data underpinning payments for all categories of expenditure except for office facilities are provided for the first time, extending even to the newspapers and magazines they're reading and supplies of photocopy paper. The Government is moving in the right direction on this, although it's been a slow journey and still has a way to go

Payments made by the parliament to and for parliamentarians, for example are outside the loop.

There is no mention of whether each parliamentarian signed off that expenditure was properly incurred. The last time the issue surfaced the monthly sign off rate was between 60-90 per cent and there were murmurings that recalcitrants would (sometime) be named. Not so far.

The Belcher report on entitlements and administration of the system that the Government has had since April has just gone off to a cabinet subcommittee- watch those press gallery boxes on Christmas eve.

We still are a long way short of a single site monthly online publication system for details of all payments and expenditure. Perhaps such a thing is only for Scotland the Brave- see the Scottish Parliament system.

As for public disclosure of payments to NSW state parliamentarians, and perhaps others, don't even ask...

From a quick browse of the overseas travel reports, a moment please for Barry Haase, the Member for Kalgoorlie as he headed for Singapore, China, Korea and Japan in April:
My original visit included a visit to Hanoi.The visit was cancelled on departure from Perth due to not having a visa to enter Vietnam.I had received advice that a prearranged visa was not required. Unfortunately I learnt on departing Perth from Singapore Airlines that a visa was required for North Vietnam (sic). The Vietnamese Embassy in Australia had proved impossible to contact, exacerbating the problem. I changed the hotel in Tokyo that had been booked after one night. This change was made due to the accommodation booked by the travel agent being grossly inadequate. The question of whether a refund will be available is yet to be answered. 
Things did get better after that...

No comments:

Post a comment